The B-List: Peter, Paul and Mary

Speaker: Categories: May 05, 2012


1 MP3 file or 1 CD [1hr, 17min, 26sec]


We’ll look at the Gospel and the Acts of Peter, and then turn to especially consider two women who obviously bothered the early Christians a lot: The story of the Gospel of Mary is itself an episode of discovery and recovery in the midst of two world wars and other tragedies. And it preserves the early Christian intrigue with the relationship between Jesus and Mary, and its influence in the early Christian movement. Three fragmentary copies of this text exist, dating from the 3rd and 5th centuries; but the material they preserve has been dated on linguistic grounds to the late 1st to early 2nd centuries. Definitely worth a look!

The second story of an early Christian woman derives from the Acts of Paul, and takes place in Iconium. It too records material that, while not traceable back to Paul, appears to be in circulation by the end of the first century AD. Not only is the story of Thecla a rattling good yarn, it reveals much about early Christianity’s appeal to the female half of the human race. How to relate this tradition to the appeal for public respectability and conventional conduct in the epistles to Timothy and Titus?


A third-generation Adventist, John grew up in the Philippine Islands and graduated from Walla Walla College and Andrews University prior to a pastoral internship in Napa, California. He then spent five years at Hong Kong Adventist College, where he chaired the theology department.

After earning a PhD at Vanderbilt University, John returned to Asia in 1978, where he taught at the Far Eastern Division’s theological seminary. He has been with Loma Linda and La Sierra Universities since 1987 and served as Dean of the School of Religion at La Sierra from 1990 - 2007 when he returned to his first love, full-time teaching.

John’s areas of expertise are New Testament studies and Asian religions. A well-known preacher and public speaker, he is a member of the American Academy of Religion, the Society of Biblical Literature, and the Adventist Society of Religious Studies. His extracurricular interests include several languages, folk music of several traditions, and conducting adventuresome study-tours “to obscure places like Tibet and the Silk Road.”


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